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#401544 - 03/03/11 03:19 PM Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce
Marty Online   happy

My life-partner Mary told me that I should tell you about this product. She claims “It’s the best hot sauce I’ve ever tasted in my entire life!”

She came across this hot sauce in my collection of spices left over from my old motorhome. Here’s the story…

In 2004, I went on a 16,000+ mile, 343 day RV trip through Mexico and Central America. During this trip we spent one month in Belize (used to be British Honduras), home of Marie Sharp’s. Belize is the most expensive country in Central America because it has little industry, so everything must be imported. To go grocery shopping takes your breath away…figure one small paper bag of groceries will run you $50!

However, one industry Belize does have is Marie Sharps…her factory is on the outskirts of Belize City. During our stay in that area, we visited her factory. She was there, working along-side her workers. She took us for a ride in her Land Rover for a tour of her 400 acre farm where she grows everything she uses in her many products. She imports/uses no other ingredients.

Here are some photo’s…

First is Maria (from our RV caravan) with Marie Sharp…

Then two of her factory…

Then finally, the product Mary is raving about…

While there, I also bought a wide selection of her products which I eventually used or gave away to friends as gifts. This bottle of Habanero Pepper Sauce and one other remained…that’s how Mary came to be aware of it. We both use a lot of hot sauce on our foods and now she’s hooked on this product! I have to agree…I like this even better than those I’ve bought in Mexico and Louisiana.

Here’s Marie Sharp’s website link…
http://www.mariesharps-bz.com/

Here’s a link to more customer reviews and where you can buy this product…
http://www.hotsauceworld.com/marsharhabpe.html

Finally, if you are interested, here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Belize…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize

Jim Jaillet


)

Video about Marie Sharps

History, current products, about their factory, and more!

Marie Sharp Is From San Pedro

Marie Sharp Is From San Pedro! Who Knew?

You probably did.  But I had no idea.  Here's how I found out...

Before I took my flight back to San Pedro, I caught a taxi from downtown Dangriga to the Marie Sharp factory.  The taxi driver first tried to charge me $60bzd (he waits while you tour), I got him down to $50bzd.  But I still think it should probably be a bit cheaper.  Anyway...some quick pictures of Dangriga.  It's a town that has seen much better days but I think it's secretly kinda beautiful.

As we headed out of town, we passed a few old railroad bridges over creeks and rivers that had long been abandoned.  My taxi driver remembered daring friends to walk across the bridges as a kid 35 years ago.  Even then they had been long abandoned.  A railroad in Belize?  What?  When?  For people?  Oranges?  Hard to imagine.

It turns out Belize had a couple railways.  This one ran about 26 miles from the Middlesex Estate (a huge fruit farm owned by US company United Fruit in Stann Creek Valley) to the old deep water port of Dangriga from 1907 to 1937.  It seems like it was mostly used for hauling bananas, logs and freight but also passengers.   In 1937, it was scraped and replaced eventually by the Hummingbird Highway.  Cool.  You learn something new everyday.

I digress..back to the subject of this post:  If you have been to Belize, you know Marie Sharp's hot sauce.  It's on practically every table in the country.  Kids and adults alike pour it on just about everything.  It's also the only Belizean product that I know of that is widely distributed in the US.

The actual Marie Sharp's factory sits 4 or 5 miles outside of Dangriga on 400 acres of really pretty farmland.  Off the main road, you drive about a mile with orange trees on one side and grapefruit on the other to the factory.  Oranges need to be picked by hand, grapefruits can be shaken off the trees.  Either way, this looks like a ton of hard work.

My Marie Sharp guide met me at the front door and brought me into the gift shop/office.  All the products are for sale:  the hot sauces, chutneys, jams and jellies and t-shirts.  (And my very favorite, The Sweet Habanero Sauce.  Crack open a bottle of this stuff, dump it on cream cheese and eat with crackers.  It is so good.  And I don't want to start a bidding war here, but there is some available on Ebay)   I bought a bunch of different products...and a new one for me.  Coconut Spread.   I tried a free sample on a cracker and I was sold.
I got a free and very fetching paper shower cap for a tour of the factory.  They were bottling my favorite pepper flavor, the Green Habanero.  It's green from it's main ingredient, the Nopal cactus.  I'm not sure how these guys do it...my eyes and throat were burning and the green sauce isn't even close to the hottest.  Gas masks must come out for the BEWARE flavor.
The habanero grinding room was in the back along with huge vats of the mash.  The peppers are only ground, not cooked.  Thank god they weren't grinding at the moment...I would imagine lots of protective gear would be needed.  Really pretty red ones were being ground for one of the many red sauces.  (These peppers come in lots of colors...green, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple depending on ripeness.  Apparently, the darker, the hotter.)
Here are the giant vats of habanero mash in the giant refrigerator.

Back in the office, I met Marie herself.  (I will spare you the picture we took together.   I can't decide who was less flattered by this shot, me or Ms. Sharp).   She described first making and bottling the hot sauce in her kitchen for 3 years.  An American man, in the mid 1980s, liked the sauce so much that he brought it home and marketed it.  It must have worked because you can now buy Marie Sharp's at Walmart and a bunch of the big chain supermarkets.  Impressive.

She also said that her family is from San Pedro (she mentioned the Alamilla family) but she never goes back since it has "changed too much" for her liking.  Oh well...I guess shipping us your sauces will have to be enough.

In Hopkins and Dangriga, I saw Marie Sharp's snacks available everywhere.  The cassava chips, salted or spicy, are totally addicting.  I think I'm going to try to bring this stuff to San Pedro.  What a cute, tasty and cheap bar food.

Hmmmm...maybe my new racket will be "import/export".  Makes me sound kinda like a snack food gangster.  

San Pedro Scoop


Touring Marie Sharp's Factory in Belize

A Lesson in Heat

marie sharp's hot sauce belize
Hi, my name is Kelly, and I'm addicted to hot sauce.

When I left for Belize in early December, I didn't anticipate bringing home anything with me other than a suntan. Instead, by the end of the week, I found myself with a huge crush on the habanero, particularly in the form of hot sauce made by Marie Sharp. Good thing a visit to the factory was on my itinerary.

As our van bumped steadily through the fields, we saw small habanero plants as far as the eye could see. I peered out the window to see if I could spot an orange or purple pepper on the vine, just like the ones I had seen in piles the day before at the farmer's market. But, we passed by too quickly and before I knew it we had pulled up to the front of the Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce factory. I soon learned, that my eyes had not deceived me and that Hurricane Richard has taken care of the harvesting the month before. Not to fear, I was assured, there was still plenty of hot sauce to be had and the warm Belizean climate would soon remedy the pepper shortage. I wasn't sure what to expect when we walked through the door's of the factory and an unassuming woman greeted us with a handshake and said "Hi, welcome, I'm Marie Sharp, it's so nice to meet you!"

marie sharp hot sauce belize dangriga

"Marie Sharp?" I wondered to myself. "There's really a Marie Sharp? It's not some fictional character made up by a corporation to sell hot sauce?" Marie Sharp's hot sauce had been on every table I'd encountered since arriving in Belize four days prior. I'd sprinkled it over my eggs, into a hot bowl of shrimp soup and timidly to the side of our chicken when I first encountered the "fiery hot" variety. With a presence like that, I expected big business. I never expected to meet the woman responsible for concocting the hot sauce recipes that have become Belize's national condiment.

marie sharp hot sauce dangriga belize

As we wandered past the bottling line Marie Sharp explained to us her company and it's modest beginnings. Twenty years ago, she had a full time career and an overbundant crop of habaneros on her family farm. She began experimenting with hot sauce recipes in her spare time, just to not let the peppers go to waste. (Anyone who can't pass up a flat of ripe berries in July understands this dilemma.) Once she perfected her carrot-based hot sauce recipe, friends clamored, why don't you do something with this? So, she recruited some help and a few more burners for her kitchen and struck out to turn her sauce into a business. And she's grown that business from her humble kitchen beginnings to an admirable family-run enterprise that sells hot sauce all over the world.

assembly line marie sharp's hot sauce belize

After our tour, we were led back to the office that also serves as a tasting room and store for all things hot and sweet. I'm not exaggerating when I say I didn't try a single thing that I didn't like (and I tried a lot.) The hot sauce comes in six levels of heat: mild, hot, fiery hot, No Wimps Allowed, Belizean Heat and Beware. On most tables in Belize you'd find fiery hot and despite their fear-inducing names the hotter varieties are tolerable. (Beware may even be my favorite, even if I'm sweating long after the meal.) Additionally, she has a tangy green habanero sauce with prickly pear, a grapefruit habanero sauce, an addicting sweet and sour sauce perfect for chicken, and a exotic sauce featuring mangos and tamarind. And then there's the fruit jams, the red pepper jelly, and fruit juices.

My arms soon filled with guava jam, coconut jam, sweet and sour habanero sauce and a compendium of heat. Shopping for hot sauce soon proved to be a difficult task, as there's only so many bottles one can hold. My group quickly started piles around her office, mine being on the top of a file cabinet. At a certain point, I gave in, worried I might not have enough cash to cover my expenses. It turns out I had nothing to worry about; I walked out out of the factory with two bags full of jars ringing in at just under $15 US dollars.

marie sharp's hot sauce boxing belize

My trip to Marie Sharp's cemented my budding addiction to hot sauce. No longer was it just a tasty condiment; it is now forever tied to my memories of Belize and it's native Pepper Queen. You, too, can drive down through the fields, hop in the store, ask for a tour of the facilities (maybe even by Marie, herself) and buy as much hot sauce as you can fit in your suitcase. And if you're like me and can't wait until your next trip to Belize, there are plenty of stores online, like Amazon or Dr. Chili Pepper that can feed your addiction.

Details:

What: Marie Sharp's Factory Tour
Where: #1 Melinda Rd., Stann Creek Valley
Belize, Central America Tel. (501) 520-2087
Cost: Free. Bring cash for your purchases.

My trip to Belize was sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board, but my opinions and experiences remain my own.

SOURCE


Marie Sharp's Nopal Green Habanero Pepper Sauce

In 2013 Marie Sharp's Nopal Green Habanero Pepper Sauce was the fastest growing pepper sauce in both local and international sales.

This cactus based pepper sauce is made from our own Scagineal cactus aka prickly pear, Nopal. Nopal cactus is a native of the Highlands of Mexico where the ancient Aztecs and Mayas consumed on a daily basis and even before going to battle .

Scagineal is also very healthy and treats diabetes, lowers blood sugar & cholesterol and is rich with fiber and vital vitamins. You can get all these benefits by eating our Marie sharp's Nopal Green Habanero on your favorite dishes! Sauce goes well with seafood, meats, burgers and even with chips as a dip.

If you haven't tried it yet look for it and see why this is a favourite in Japan, Mexico, and USA markets. Available in stores countrywide! All natural straight from the farm to your family table!


International Hot Sauce Taste Test

Check out Belize's very own Marie Sharp's "Belizean Heat" Pepper Sauce being compared to other international hot sauces in this fun video by BuzzFeed - Would you attempt this taste test?


Spicy Spotlight: Marie Sharp's


I had the opportunity to interview the iconic Marie Sharp, the person whose name I see and speak every single day. Marie Sharp’s was our top-selling brand of 2014, and even people who DON’T eat hot sauce have heard of her sauces. For nerdy little me, this was a brush with a celebrity, even if only through a series of emails. However, I quickly got over being a little star-struck once I saw how humble she was.

“We have hundreds of visitors to my factory,” she told me. “If I am recognized, they all want to take pictures with me or for me sign bottles of hot sauce or sign their Marie Sharp's T-shirt, but I prefer to remain incognito. I am not a big fan of publicity, however I am happy to meet with my fans. I am a normal, hard-working person that continue to partake in the daily running of the factory.”

Perhaps this attitude is the reason why her business remains so successful to this day. All 12 sauces are her own recipes crafted with the goal of producing sauces with heat and flavor—not trying to make the hottest sauce in the world—and she’s good at it. Despite her achievements, she hasn’t let her success go to her head. In fact, the three words I would use to describe Marie Sharp are hard-working, humble, and classy. You can see why when you hear her tell the history of her business:

The History of Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce As Told By Marie Sharp

Marie Sharp“We own our own farm named Melinda Estate,” Marie explained. “This is where in 1978, I started cultivating the red habanero. The red habanero is a yellow or light orange; by cross pollination with the Jamaican red, I changed the color eventually to habanero red. On this farm, we grow everything I turn into a product. Today because of worldwide acceptance, we now contract out to other small farmers for production of peppers and carrots.”

“I starting creating my sauces, with being different in mind, by using fresh vegetables and tropical fruits. Hence I didn't need to use thickeners or food colors. By creating my own red pepper, I didn't have to use coloring, and by using our own homegrown limes, I cut back on the vinegar content. It was one of my customers who asked me to make him a green pepper sauce with a natural green and not coloring.”

“I started selling my hot sauces in 1981. I bought myself three stoves—the counter-top models—four burners each and three pots one per stove. I would cook three pots of sauce every night, the carrot base formula, which was the one everyone who had tasted preferred. I would have a helper fill bottles in the morning, which allowed me to go to work in the morning. On weekends, I would make refried beans and fried tortillas, pack my car with everything I needed, and went to all the little and large stores [allowing them to taste the product] and asking them to put some on their shelves.”

“I worked as an Executive Secretary from 8 am to 5 pm. I covered the entire Country of Belize in this manner. I got into the U.S. by meeting a Belizean American who came to Belize to visit. He tasted the sauces and fell in love with them. He started to import my sauces at the time under the brand name ‘Melinda's’ into the U.S. in 1989. Presently, Marie Sharp's exports to USA, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany, UK, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica…”

A Strong Woman in a Male-Dominated Industry

Marie Sharp's HabanerosI always feel a certain privilege when I get the chance to interview someone who has really made a name for themselves and built their brand from the ground up, such as Joe Turner of Tahiti Joe’s or Steve Seabury of High River Sauces. Marie Sharp stands out not only because she makes a delicious and well-known hot sauce but also because she is a woman in an industry that is primarily led by men. Of the 10 nominees for this year’s Hot Sauce Hall of Fame, Marie is the only woman, so I wondered about her thoughts on that. She was quite proud to be included in the list of nominees.

“I have come from a male-dominated era, and this only goes to prove that women can also reach recognition for their efforts and achievement,” Marie told me. “If I am [inducted] into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame, I would be very happy! I would feel honored—I am now 75 years old and I would be happy to have accomplished such an achievement while I am still here.”

What’s Next

Since I had the chance, I had to ask her if she had any new sauces coming down the pipeline.

“We are now smoking the habanero peppers,” she responded. “We now have a Smokin Marie and a smoked Habanero pepper sauce, both very nice. I am working on a ginger pepper sauce also.”

“I want to thank Marie for taking the time to answer my questions so thoughtfully. Because she generally likes to remain incognito to go about her business, I feel very privileged to have had the chance to talk with her. I know we’re not exactly the New York Times over here, but I love to write, and this blog was truly a special one for me to do, and I appreciate that she was willing to help me out.

I will leave y’all with the following recipe that Marie Sharp gave me herself: It’s called Conch Ceviche. Now can someone please tell me where I can buy some fresh conch in Fort Worth, Texas? :)

Marie Sharp’s Conch Ceviche

- 3 large conch, well-cleaned and washed with limes
- Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Pepper hot sauce
- 1 large onion
- 3oz cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 large tomatoes
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- 6 limes

1. Beat the conch into small portions with a meat tenderizer, cut up into small portions, and then chop into very small pieces.
2. Mix all of the above ingredients (including conch) in a container and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt.
3. Squeeze six limes in a container (caye limes). Add water to the lime juice and add to conch mixture.
4. Add 2-1/2 ozs Marie Sharp's Orange Pulp Habanero Pepper sauce and let marinate in the refrigerator 2-3 hours. You will end up with an unforgettable Ceviche. Add more lime if needed.


Hot Sauce Depot


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#506810 - 08/20/15 11:12 AM Re: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Something New and Novel Out Of Marie Sharp’s Pepper Pot

"Belizean Heat", "Fiery Hot" and "No Wimps Allowed": these are just a few of the pepper sauces that Marie Sharp produces. Over the years these products and others have earned a firm foothold in Belizean culinary culture. And now Ms. Marie hopes that an unusual new sauce can make its way unto your dinner table. Courtney Weatherburne traveled to the Marie Sharp Factory just outside Dangriga on Friday to find out and why the new sauce stands out among any other in the world

Courtney Weatherburne Reporting...

Almost every Belizean at home and abroad is very familiar with this logo.

In fact products carrying this brand can be found on every kitchen counter and on most restaurant tables. And Marie Sharp is the woman behind all these product lines.

As well as this 400 acre Dangriga farm where her farmers plant a portion of their supply of Habanero peppers along with a variety of other fruits used in her sauces and jams. So how did she get into the business in the first place?

Well, it all began with a just few Habanero pepper plants.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"My husband inherited the farm; and because of the farm we started coming down here and planting; I started to plant all the fruits that I can lay my hand on that grow in Belize. And one of my sisters said to me why don't you plant some habanero peppers for Dr. Gordio; who was a medical officer in Belize City and he use to make a pepper sauce. He use to make a little pepper sauce, in a little bottle called "The Habanero". So I said no problem, I went ahead and planted pepper; but I didn't consult the good doctor. So I ended up in Belize with my first pickup full of peppers and he goes, "Aye, hace yo so poquito." Then I said oh my god; so what I am going to do with all this habanero pepper that I planted? So I had to take out my little home blender and start crushing pepper, adding salt; putting it into pails and barrels."

And with that excess, Sharp began to give out samples to her friends –who all approved and encouraged her to sell her sauces. So she did, and she operated from her home for 3 years until her husband built a factory on this farm in 1985. Since then the company has experienced dramatic growth.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"We have Japan, Shanghai, Korea, Germany, India, Kuwait, Lebanon. We have; we're practically all over you know because we're talking right now to somebody for Dubai and South Africa."

Jorge Manzanero - Quality Control Manager, Marie Sharp

"One of the biggest customers is Japanese and we had to cater to them because they had a very high standard that we have to meet."

And those standards are met in this new factory. Here is where all the pepper sauces, jams and jellies are produced.

This is the storage area where the raw materials are kept. These 24 tanks can hold over 200,000 pounds of habanero peppers and other ingredients. After the sauces have been cooked to perfection they are stored in these tanks.

From there they are ready to be bottled, labeled and boxed for local distribution or export. It seems like quite a small space and a straightforward process for the operations of $8 million dollar company

But it's in that same humble space, that the commitment to consistency, precision, and ingenuity have made a local label a brand with international renown.

Those are the driving forces behind Sharps’ new pepper sauce: The Smoked Habanero. It was launched in February and officially debuted at the Agriculture and Trade Show in May.

But for this new sauce, she got a little inspiration from the Alaskans.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"The idea came about because my husband and I love to watch programmes from Canada. The people who live in the bush in Canada; and we like to sit down and watch those programmes. And we see how they smoke fish, they smoke meat, they smoke everything; so we just sat there and my husband said, "How if we smoke some habanero peppers?" I didn't pay him any mind you know. He went ahead and he made our guys, in house, build a smokehouse; and they built a nice smoker and we started to smoke the habanero peppers. After he had the peppers smoked now he comes and say now you have to make the sauce."


"What we did first, I made up one. I made up one sample in the lab; and then we put it out there and we put a questionnaire. And we asked everybody that came to give us some ideas of what they thought of it. We did this during the tourist season; because during the tourist season we have buses and cars. The amount of people that come here you wouldn't believe it. So they come and they taste, outside they taste all the products and so on. One fight everybody has is they want to buy the one bottle. I said I only made one bottle."

And her new line of pepper sauce quickly gained popularity from that one bottle. The Smoked Habanero Pepper Sauce – which is the first of its kind is now 1 out of about 11 hot

Stacked meticulously across this shelf are the over 30 different product lines of Marie Sharp –from the pepper sauces to the juices – each line representing the success of her company and Belizean pride….

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"I feel very proud. I'm very proud; I'm proud of my Belizean people because without them. At the beginning I had a hard time with them because Belizeans don't like nothing that is made in Belize; but once I won them over, I have no more problem with them. I can almost say I have 95% percent of the Belize population eating something from Marie Sharp."

The Smoked Habanero Sauce is available in stores countrywide. In terms of the distribution line Marie Sharp Pepper sauces can be found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras , Costa Rica, Canada, Australia among the others listed in the story. Sharp also told us that her products are also being tested in the UK.

Channel 7

CLICK HERE TO BUY MARIE SHARP's FROM AMAZON.COM


Top
#506816 - 08/20/15 02:46 PM Re: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Sounds fabulous. Can't wait to try it.

Top
#512754 - 03/31/16 11:21 AM Re: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Marie Sharp to the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

Marie Sharp, the owner of Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Ltd. has been selected to be inducted in the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct five people, all of whom have been very instrumental in the fiery foods. This year’s group is the biggest and brightest names in the industry including Marie Sharp who spoke to Love News.

MARIE SHARP

“I am very happy and excited, overwhelmed really because I am now seeing something coming together for all these years that I have been working. I have been doing the pepper sauce for 35 years and it is only now that I am seeing things happening for me like new markets opening. We just enlarged the factory to almost double it’s size, we put in a good investment there and now this which just overwhelmed me. The people themselves called to congratulate me and Belize. I never expected this to happen really because I’m a Belizean and I’m the only outsider as far as the people who were selected, all of them are companies from inside the US so I said to me that I would never get in because I’m a Belizean and an outsider. When they told me that I was elected I couldn’t believe it.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“What does it mean for you?”

MARIE SHARP

“It means that I have achieved something that very few people have achieved. It makes me feel good that for all the years that I have worked at my company, working hard for my country that I’m getting some kind of reward.”

Sharp will be officially inducted in the hall of fame on the April 23 in New York City.

LOVEFM


Marie Sharp to be Inducted in Pepper Hall of Fame

It’s a good week for outstanding Belizean women. Immigration Officer Deborah Baptist Estrada was singled out as the first Belizean woman to promote issues such as human and gender rights, peace and other social issues. Her recognition as made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Today, we can report that world-renowned pepper producer Marie Sharp is headed to the New York Hall of Fame as the only non-American to be inducted into the prestigious class of hot sauce pioneers. Her brand of condiments is well-known in countries as far as China, Lebanon and in Australia and Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods continues to expand its market. We all know the story of the famed businesswoman who started making hot sauce out of her kitchen in Hope Creek many years ago. Since then the small bottles have become a staple on dinner tables around the world. News Five spoke by phone with an elated Marie Sharp earlier today.

On the Phone: Marie Sharp, Producer, Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods

“It was really a surprise because I am not an America. So actually I am the only outsider of the one that was nominated; all the rest were Americans. So I didn’t believe that I would have been able to get in. But I got in and so the induction ceremony is going to be the twenty-third of April; I have to go for the induction ceremony. I feel excited and I feel very proud because it is a big honor and I never expected to get in simply because I’m not an American…I was the only outsider and I made it. So I am very proud of that. And I have to say thank you to all the people that help me to get where I am today. At my age, I have to thank the good lord that I am still here and I am seeing the fruition of all my thirty-five years of hard work because we just enlarged our factory to a huge expansion. We have tapped into a lot of new markets; we are not selling as far as Australia. We are in Australia, we are in Korea; Japan is still my largest market. We are in Shanghai, we are in Germany, we are in Lebanon, we are in Kuwait. So I am happy that the good Lord has made me see my hard work come to such high expectation.” Sharp will travel to New York City in April for the induction ceremony.

Channel 5







Marie Sharp, 35-year veteran, to be inducted into Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

Belizean entrepreneur, Marie Sharp, 76, who started her business in her kitchen, will be inducted into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame later this month when she travels to New York to receive her special red jacket and ring. Sharp will not just be the only Belizean to snag this lifetime award, she will be the only woman in the group of honorees.

“It’s the highest honor that I think anybody can ever achieve… not only for me. When they notified me, they congratulated me and my country and the people of Belize for being elected, Sharp told Amandala.

She said that when she received news of the award, she was “very, very happy” and “surprised.” She still does not know how she was selected for this special honor, but she plans on being in New York for the April 23 induction.

In an online notice, the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation announced the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016, comprised of 5 people who “have been very instrumental in the fiery foods.”

It explained that the winners were picked after months of balloting with almost 500 voters.

“This year’s group are the biggest and brightest names in the industry: One of Legend. One of inspiration,” it added.

Sharp is humbled by the reward for her hard work and dedication spanning over three decades.

“It is a great honor really for them to choose somebody outside the US. I felt really good about that and I felt here I am being given a chance to get something out of many years of working, 35 years in industry,” she told us.

Today she leads a world-famous hot sauce production company which exports not just to the prime markets for Belizean products – the US and the UK, but also to places like Australia, Shanghai, Korea, Lebanon, Kuwait, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Taiwan. She is now pursuing buyers in France and Italy.

She said that when she was notified of the nomination, she did not really give much thought to it.

“Everybody else was American and I was Belizean. I said I did not stand a chance because I am an outsider,” she told us.

Last week, she received the great news that she was chosen to be enlisted into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. She will be among the inductees who will be called onstage, to share about her achievements. Then, she will be presented with the signature ring and jacket and then be hosted for photoshoots and interviews.

Marie Sharp will also feature her products at an expo which will be held by organizers. Currently, she produces 6 carrot based peppers, 2 citrus based peppers: an orange based pepper and a grapefruit based pepper. She also makes a hot sauce from prickly pear and two smoked habanero varieties. She also produces steak sauce, and jams and jellies made from Belizean fruits and unrefined sugar from cane grown in Belize.

Sharp said that currently, she exports about 50 containers a year and each container carries 4,000 cases of her products. She has been exporting since 1986, when she began with small quantities to the US through friends in the Belizean diaspora. Marie Sharp has since crossed the continent.

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation notes that Marie Sharp, who started making sauce in the early 80’s, was the creator of Melinda’s sauces.

“Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce — awesome flavor and great heat!” the Foundation said.


Amandala


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#512884 - 04/06/16 11:01 AM Re: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Hall of Fame For Marie Sharp

In two and a half weeks, pioneering Belizean entrepreneur Marie Sharp will travel to New York where she will be inducted into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The distinction is reserved for those who, quote, "have been working within the fiery foods industry for a minimum of 3 years." Three years? Cho!...Try 35! That's how long Marie Sharp has been making hot sauce - first Melinda's, and now that her namesake line. In August of last year Courtney Weatherburne visited her plant in Hope Creek where she found that behind all those hot sauces is a very cool lady:..

Courtney Weatherburne Reporting...

Almost every Belizean at home and abroad is very familiar with this logo.

In fact products carrying this brand can be found on every kitchen counter and on most restaurant tables. And Marie Sharp is the woman behind all these product lines.

As well as this 400 acre Dangriga farm where her farmers plant a portion of their supply of Habanero peppers along with a variety of other fruits used in her sauces and jams. So how did she get into the business in the first place?

Well, it all began with a just few Habanero pepper plants.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"My husband inherited the farm; and because of the farm we started coming down here and planting; I started to plant all the fruits that I can lay my hand on that grow in Belize. And one of my sisters said to me why don't you plant some habanero peppers for Dr. Gordio; who was a medical officer in Belize City and he use to make a pepper sauce. He use to make a little pepper sauce, in a little bottle called "The Habanero". So I said no problem, I went ahead and planted pepper; but I didn't consult the good doctor. So I ended up in Belize with my first pickup full of peppers and he goes, "Aye, hace yo so poquito." Then I said oh my god; so what I am going to do with all this habanero pepper that I planted? So I had to take out my little home blender and start crushing pepper, adding salt; putting it into pails and barrels."

And with that excess, Sharp began to give out samples to her friends –who all approved and encouraged her to sell her sauces. So she did, and she operated from her home for 3 years until her husband built a factory on this farm in 1985. Since then the company has experienced dramatic growth.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"We have Japan, Shanghai, Korea, Germany, India, Kuwait, Lebanon. We have; we're practically all over you know because we're talking right now to somebody for Dubai and South Africa."

Jorge Manzanero - Quality Control Manager, Marie Sharp

"One of the biggest customers is Japanese and we had to cater to them because they had a very high standard that we have to meet."

And those standards are met in this new factory. Here is where all the pepper sauces, jams and jellies are produced.

This is the storage area where the raw materials are kept. These 24 tanks can hold over 200,000 pounds of habanero peppers and other ingredients. After the sauces have been cooked to perfection they are stored in these tanks.

From there they are ready to be bottled, labeled and boxed for local distribution or export. It seems like quite a small space and a straightforward process for the operations of $8 million dollar company

But it's in that same humble space, that the commitment to consistency, precision, and ingenuity have made a local label a brand with international renown.

Those are the driving forces behind Sharps’ new pepper sauce: The Smoked Habanero. It was launched in February and officially debuted at the Agriculture and Trade Show in May.

But for this new sauce, she got a little inspiration from the Alaskans.

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"The idea came about because my husband and I love to watch programmes from Canada. The people who live in the bush in Canada; and we like to sit down and watch those programmes. And we see how they smoke fish, they smoke meat, they smoke everything; so we just sat there and my husband said, "How if we smoke some habanero peppers?" I didn't pay him any mind you know. He went ahead and he made our guys, in house, build a smokehouse; and they built a nice smoker and we started to smoke the habanero peppers. After he had the peppers smoked now he comes and say now you have to make the sauce."

"What we did first, I made up one. I made up one sample in the lab; and then we put it out there and we put a questionnaire. And we asked everybody that came to give us some ideas of what they thought of it. We did this during the tourist season; because during the tourist season we have buses and cars. The amount of people that come here you wouldn't believe it. So they come and they taste, outside they taste all the products and so on. One fight everybody has is they want to buy the one bottle. I said I only made one bottle."

And her new line of pepper sauce quickly gained popularity from that one bottle. The Smoked Habanero Pepper Sauce – which is the first of its kind is now 1 out of about 11 hot

Stacked meticulously across this shelf are the over 30 different product lines of Marie Sharp –from the pepper sauces to the juices – each line representing the success of her company and Belizean pride….

Marie Sharp - Owner, Marie Sharp

"I feel very proud. I'm very proud; I'm proud of my Belizean people because without them. At the beginning I had a hard time with them because Belizeans don't like nothing that is made in Belize; but once I won them over, I have no more problem with them. I can almost say I have 95% percent of the Belize population eating something from Marie Sharp."

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016 includes Blair Lazar who makes the Guinness World Record certified hottest pepper sauce on earth called the Death Sauce; David Tran, who started the popular Chinese Sriracha Sauce in 1980 and Jacob Frank, the Founder of Franks Red Hot, which was used as the secret ingredient for the first ever Buffalo Wings, and of course our very own Marie Sharp who is described as the maker of quote, "the quintessential Central American hot sauce awesome flavor and great heat!", end quote.

Channel 7


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#513017 - 04/12/16 11:47 AM Re: Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Marie Sharp's

The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state of countries around the world.

In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team head to Stann Creek Valley to speak with Marie Sharp, owner of Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce, about the second largest export of Belize and the importance to the people of the region. This companies origin story, a big contrast to the Belikin Beer monopoly, takes you through the peaks and valleys of Marie’s fierce determination to make this one of a few Belizean products that has made it all over the world via her grassroots efforts.


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